The summer six week holiday of 2016 started and finished with loss. Since then I’ve been living with bereavement. Maybe a better way of saying that is to say I AM A BEREAVEMENT SURVIVOR. Probably always will be a Bereavement survivor. I’ve been very careful to use the word bereavement. Bereavement is that awful thing that we all must go through in life. It can’t be badged up in any fancy packaging and made it to be something nice. It is just awful, will always be awful. It means death, loss and the end.

Over those 4 years I have come to realise that GRIEF is something different. It’s not bereavement. Grief has an important extra component. Grief has one important word associated with it.


Grief and grieving is another word for love and loving. So grief is completely different to bereavement. Ok it’s intrinsically linked with bereavement and yes in a perfect world, it just doesn’t happen. But sadly it does and often far too early. However here is the key – Grief means Love and that is a beautiful thing. Bereavement is something you try to survive and live with. Grief is love, so is something you will always treasure. Yes it can be so very painful but that pain just reflects the depth of your love. That love will always be there. It will strengthen me. If and when I move onto loving someone else, it will make me much more appreciative of that new love.

So yes I am a bereavement survivor but more importantly I am a better person because of my grief.


64 thoughts on “Love

  1. And this reminds me of this quote ““Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go” Jamie Anderson

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  2. I don’t really want to mess with anything you have to say (so why am I saying it?) but when my mother went into the hospital when I was merely 8 years old, and never came out as far as I knew, grief has been about the relatonship between “I and THE GRAVE.” As you say, we must all encounter it, some sooner, some later, but ever and anon. “I” cannot enter a grave, it is an impassible and impossible line to cross. The grave steals from the I, and refuses to give back.
    But this does not mean we must forever be in bereavement, there is no “I” in bereavement. The “I” must continue, because it is still al”I”ve. Give to the grave that which belongs to the grave, but give to lIfe what belongs to life.

    Hawklad is a live being. Be with him. My father was never with me. My loss was double his.

    (Not meant as anything, certainly not advice. Just something to consider when looking out at the grey skies as seen through my window, which I have no idea how to add to a comment on a tablet.)

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  3. You honor her memory and the love you shared. You treasure the life you created together… Hawklad may not have his mum as a physical presence everyday, but you share her with him in every interaction, decision and thought.
    This is just beautiful!🥰🌈💌💌

    I have to go find a tissue now…😢

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      1. I’ve noticed that you seem lighter and like you’re having more fun. That’s good! No matter how messed up things are, laughter is never inappropriate. As long as we’re alive, we should be LIVING!🎶💃🏼🌈💌

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  4. I had a similar conversation a few months ago with my adult daughter when talking about her dad. She said grief kept her “connected” to him and gave her peace. I’d never even considered anything like that, so focused on getting through the next hour or day. But adapting to that mindset HAS made getting through the hours and days a little easier. 😊

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      1. Yup!! Lol … stayed up pretty late last night and got to sleep in… I do have some stuff to do today but I am chilling at the moment – taking a moment for self ❤️

        Is peaceful ❤️ was crazy there for a minute 😮

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  5. You experience grief because you loved her so much. So yes, grief and grieving is another word for love and loving. And in spite of all that life has thrown at you, you’ve stayed strong. This is such a beautiful post. I publish a post on grief today! Such a coincidence

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  6. I think the capacity to bear grief and deepen into it while understanding and coming to terms with it’s rich deep darkness is such a journey. It obvious how much you loved your soul mate and she is forever a part of you. Beautiful post, Gary.

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  7. Isn’t it said that grief is the price of love? From the way you write, Gary, I can feel the way you loved your partner and it touches me. She was a lucky woman to have been so loved. I think not so many are.

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  8. What a lovely post Gary. Because we love so deeply, we feel our grief deep within. It never goes away, but there are what I term ‘warm spots’ of happy memories because I loved. I have never lost a partner, but still grieve the loss of my parents, even though that is now 24 and 2 and a half years ago. Love is what it’s all about IMO

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  9. I can only echo the other comments … this is a beautiful post. Your partner was lucky to have experienced you have for her and your son is also lucky to have you love and care for him as much as you do. Grief is love. Grieving appears in many shapes and forms I have discovered, but it is related to love or the loss of love. X

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  10. An important, and beautifully described distinction. I think becoming acquainted with grief, even having it take over for a time and run the healing process, shows us that we’ve had something (someone) truly significant in our lives. Kind of an honor, in a way… Hugs to you and son. 💕

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  11. Gary, you and Hawklad are lucky to have each other. I know the pandemic must make parenting even more of a challenge. Nobody quite knows what will happen with schools here either. Florida continues to be at the epicenter of covid19, so I hope schools do not reopen yet. I wish you both the best in the coming school year. Cheryl

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